We All Go Down
Rated "T" for bad language.
"Dead… they're… they're dead," Zoey panted, leaning her hands on her legs. She pinched her eyes shut, stopping the tears from flowing down her cheeks.
"Shit, shit, shit," he mumbled, leaning his head against the chain-link fence as he fumbled to lock it. "This ain't good, this ain't good at all."
"I… I…," Zoey sputtered. She couldn't think, couldn't talk, couldn't breathe. Francis, Bill, Louis, Nick, Rochelle, Coach… they were all dead. Gone.
After all the time they had spent together, all they had gone through… They had been killed, just like that, in the massive horde the eight of them had fought through in desperation to get to this supposed evacuation zone where a helicopter could be called to rescue them.
New Orleans had been overrun. All of America was gone, and over the journey of travelling here, pilots and other survivors told them that safe zones were being set up in Canada's bitter north, where the string of infection died out quickly in the cold.
In other words, everyone was giving up.
Most of the evacuation zones were deserted, the pilots of the choppers too scared to answer the calls of survivors. That's why they were here, Zoey thought, that's why Bill and Louis and Francis were dead.
They had made it to New Orleans, the four of them, only to find it deserted of life and overrun with zombies. Unsure of what to do after finding out their only key to survival was crushed, they had holed up in an apartment block until they heard voices.
It was the four they had met back in the Georgian town awhile back. With the arrival of these four brought news of the evacuation centers to Canada.
So they began travelling to these centers, working out slowly where to go based on updated news left by other survivors in safe rooms along the way.
Two months had passed. Two long, gruelling months of desperation, weakness and disappointment every time they got to an evacuation zone only to find it empty.
Until recently, when a voice over a military radio had told them there was an active evacuation center in a major city.
And after that was when it all went down hill. The hordes they had to fight through, the blood their friends shed. God, there had been so much blood…
Zoey's eyes raked up Ellis' body. His Bull Shifters shirt was drenched in it and his hands trembled noticeably. She could understand. His normal happy-go-lucky behaviour was tampered with after witnessing the death of their friends, the best people they could have asked for to face this disaster with.
She closed her eyes and could see their last moments, their last breaths. Her eyes pinched tight and she felt tears building up, panic bubbling in her throat. Hysteria poked and prodded at the edge of her mind, threatening to take over her rational thinking.
She couldn't deal with this, deal with being stranded; deal with the fact that the others were all dead; deal with the fact that with just the two of them there they were surely going to die.
"We're not going to make it," she whispered under her breath, leaning down and putting her hands on her knees. Her head hung down low and she breathed in a shuddering breath, her whole body racking with the effort it took to live.
Her eyes glanced up at the fence Ellis was leaning on. She watched him straighten and take a step back, his gaze fixed on the doorway across the rooftop, on the other side of the fence.
"They're here," he said. Zoey straightened and tried to will herself not to feel hopeless. She wanted to be strong, to bounce back jumping and be able to take this all in one stride. She wanted to be brave for herself and for him.
That's what she wanted.
But as we all know, we never get what we want.
She watched those first infected burst through the door, their animalistic eyes uncaring and unforgiving. They were completely void of any emotion, of any remorse, and she felt such an intense hatred roll off her body towards them that her breathing became raspy.
They charged at the fence, too stupid to realize their flesh and bones wouldn't magically tear down the chains, and began reaching for them, growling and snapping at what Zoey assumed was the last humans in the city.
"What do we do?" Ellis asked. He looked down at his shotgun like it would magically fill with ammo again.
"You bastard," Zoey murmured. Ellis turned, his eyebrows scrunching together like he was asking, "are you talking to me?"
"You fucking bastards!" Zoey screamed. "You took them all! You took all of them and you don't even fucking care!" She ran at the fence, pulling her pistol out of her waist band and firing into the growing crowd of infected on the other side of the fence.
Their cries rose in excitement when she approached the electrically charged fence. Their hands and bodies pressed into the wires, the sizzling of burning flesh filling the air.
"You fucking shit-faced fuckers! Die and burn in hell! You took them all, didn't you? You bastards! Francis, Bill, Louis!" Ellis took a step forward, watching as she fired bullets into the crowd. If she was able to kill one zombie at the front of the horde, another from behind quickly filled its spot.
"You took Dad and Mom and Granny and Rachel! Rot in hell you shit-faced –,"
"Zoey!" Ellis grabbed her upper arms, pulling her away from the fence. Her knees shook and she grabbed his arms to steady herself. She felt herself blubbering the names of everyone she missed, felt the need to be surrounded by them again, and became afraid when she couldn't remember their faces anymore.
She shrunk down onto her knees, pulling her hands up to cover her face. She let the tears come; she let herself succumb to weakness. She let the feeling of emptiness in the pit of her stomach fill her heart and take over the rest of her senses.
"Hey now," Ellis whispered. She peered through her fingers and saw he was crouching down in front of her, his lips parted as he stared into her hands, trying to find her eyes. "What happened to that ass-kicking girl I knew?"
Her fingers clenched and she felt annoyed. She wanted to be alone, wanted to be left here to cry her heart out without some southern hick ruining it all.
"I give up," she whispered. "I can't fight anymore." She looked up at him and saw his eyebrows lift slightly, like he was taken back by the sight of her tears.
"Don't say that –,"
"Then what else are we suppose to do, Ellis?! Fight them with our fists?! We're out of ammo, we're out of hope… we're shit out of luck." He stared at her.
The clanging of the fence and sizzling of the zombies made them both turn to look. So many infected were pressing against the fence that it was sagging down, the wires stretching to their limit.
Zoey turned and their eyes locked. She could see her defeat reflected back at her in his blue eyes, see that he was just as tired as she was.
There was a long pause before Zoey inhaled and took his hand.
"I'm done here."
She stood and looked down at him, her breath hitching in her throat. He looked like a child, defeated, tired, and ready to go home. He looked like a guy who didn't deserve to be out here.
She felt another stirring of hatred in her heart. It made her angry that he had to go through this; had to live through everything he had. If there was one person out of the 8 of them, he was the one who least deserved this.
He had always been kind, and though everyone admitted he was annoying and a nuisance, what they didn't – and now couldn't – admit to him was that he cheered them up and made the apocalypse seem less scary.
She hated seeing him defeated like this.
"I'll hold them off while you can try and get away. I won't go down without a fight and –,"
"Zoey." He stood up and stepped close to her, his fingers twisting around her wrist. "Don't try and be a hero now. Those kinds of things only work in movies."
"I just –," the sound of whining metal and zapping electricity reminded her that their time was limited before the fence snapped. "I want you to get away."
His lips twisted into a smile and his fingers touched her chin.
"We ain't heroes, Zoey."
"I can try to be one," she whispered. He shook his head and his mouth opened like he wanted to say more, but the roar of a tank stopped them. They could feel the floor shake with his heavy footsteps. He would be here soon.
Zoey's hands were surprisingly still as she reached up and cupped his cheek, smiling into his warm eyes.
"We all go down together," he said.
The fence gave one last protesting whine before it collapsed under the weight of the horde.
I just really want to give a big shout-out to my bes fren Savannah (FilipinaVii) who pushed me into falling in love with the L4D fandom. She inspires me everyday and I wouldn't have it any differently. This story (and the pronz one!) is for you babeh :D
Feel free to leave a review and tell me what you did or didn't like about this piece o' fanfic right ova here. Hope you all found something you enjoyed in mah storay.